Food Challenge Recipe 31: Watermelon Sorbet

It’s still hot. Well, it is at time of writing this…. who knows what the great British summer will be offering as you read this.

Either way, this week’s recipe is something hydrating, cooling, and ended up being pretty delicious!

I love melon of all kinds, but I really love the freshness of watermelon. What’s great is that you can buy packs of freshly prepared melon, which makes making things like sorbet super duper easy!

This sorbet recipe uses an ice cream maker, so the first thing you need to do is put the inner bowl in the freezer if your machine requires this.

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I took 625g of prepared watermelon and popped this into a blender, along with 100g of caster sugar and 2 tbsp of lime juice.

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This was all blitzed together until smooth, but still a little pulpy.

And that’s it! You tip it into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for how long to churn it for.

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It was in our machine for about 25 minutes.

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At this stage it’s soft-serve, so it needs to go into the freezer for about an hour before eating.

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What came out was a lovely light, fluffy and gorgeously soft sorbet. It wasn’t too sweet, the lime juice cut through any sweetness but worked well with the fresh watermelon flavour.

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Obviously, this was a super easy recipe, if you have a blender and ice cream maker. My only complaint is, and this was the case with the other sorbet we made, that after a few hours you are left with a solid block of watermelon ice. In order to eat it, you kind of have to take it out a while before you want to eat it, or soften it in the fridge. But that’s not a problem and the flavour isn’t lost.

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The verdict: I really liked this recipe. For ease and flavour, I couldn’t have asked for much more. My only issue is how hard it goes a few hours after it’s made, but this could be something to do with the churning time. I’ll have to practice!

I give this recipe 8/10

Food Challenge Recipe 19: Fresh Orange Sorbet

When I started this challenge I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just making recipes for me, but also making recipes Gary would like and giving us both the opportunity to expand our cooking skills.

Orange sorbet has been one of his favourites since the 80’s when this was something you could get everywhere – it was the sorbet flavour of choice! But now you really can’t find it. More often than not it’ll be mango, raspberry or lemon sorbet, and if you do find orange, it’s usually blood orange which doesn’t taste the same.

This year we took the plunge and bought a very reasonably priced ice cream maker. The idea being he could make his sorbet and since I’m unable to eat standard dairy ice cream, I could also use it to try my hand at making dairy-free ice creams!

So to start we decided to give orange sorbet a try. There are a tonne of orange sorbet recipes, all differing, but being the same all at once. The amount of juice and sugar you need are the most common variants, but we found a recipe that looked fairly good and decided to go with that one.

To start with, you need to make sure that if you’re using an ice cream maker with a freezer bowl, you’ve put it in the freezer for the relevant amount of time ahead of beginning your recipe. Then you need to make a sugar syrup.

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You bring 1 cup of water (250ml) and 1/2 cup (125ml) sugar to the boil and then let it simmer low for 20 minutes.

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You can tell the syrup is done when the fluidity of the liquid is thicker than water and it lightly coats the back of a metal teaspoon.

Then you take it off the heat and let it cool. We took this opportunity to juice the oranges at this point, whilst the sugar syrup was cooling.

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We had a net of 7 oranges so we juiced them all. We needed 2 cups (500ml) of juice for this recipe, so after juicing all the oranges we had a small glass of juice left over to drink. Yummy!

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By this point, the syrup was room temperature, so we poured the juice into the syrup and gave it a quick whisk together.

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This then went into the fridge for an hour to chill. After the hour we took it out, assembled the ice cream maker and set it to work!

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This churned for 30 minutes, which may have been a bit too long, but we’re still learning.

What came out of the machine was more like a granita than a sorbet.

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But the taste was epic. Essentially this is frozen, sweetened orange juice. But it was incredible. So much so that the whole of the following day at work I was craving another bowl of the stuff!

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This was a good, fairly simple recipe to follow and the resulting flavours were really great. We need to try this again but churn the mixture for about 5 minutes less.

This will be great to try again in the heat of the summer, and I’m eager to try different flavours too!

I give this recipe 8/10